An incomplete record of things designed, made, observed, read, rejected, appreciated, or created.

On designing for brands #1

Standardizing only makes sense for types of projects that are repeated often and would be more valuable if they were done the same way each time.

Doing something the same way each time has two advantages — the first is efficiency, since the problem doesn’t have to be re-solved each time, and the second is consistency.

If something doesn’t come up often, efficiency isn’t an issue, since any attempt at standardization is going to be based on too few data points (as they don’t occur often) and probably take longer than addressing the projects one at a time. And if it’s not going to be seen in the context of other examples of the same kind of project, consistency isn’t an issue either.

That means these projects are excellent opportunities for designers to do what they do best — interpret the brand. If given the right resources, they can be opportunities to stretch the boundaries of the brand, to help it grow and evolve. Embrace them.

Monster + snowboots = bigfoot.

Monster + snowboots = bigfoot.

We’re having a snowstorm! The Weather Channel is calling it Leon, so I figured it needed a logo.
I didn’t spend very long on it, since I was supposed to be doing other things, so I leave the refinement up to you, dear readers. Send your version of the Leon logo back to me ( libby at libbylevi dot com), and I’ll put together a post with them all.
Now, download the eps file and get to work!
UPDATE: I made this little project it’s own tumblr. Submit your logos there!

We’re having a snowstorm! The Weather Channel is calling it Leon, so I figured it needed a logo.

I didn’t spend very long on it, since I was supposed to be doing other things, so I leave the refinement up to you, dear readers. Send your version of the Leon logo back to me ( libby at libbylevi dot com), and I’ll put together a post with them all.

Now, download the eps file and get to work!

UPDATE: I made this little project it’s own tumblr. Submit your logos there!

This year’s monster herd is shaping up nicely. (Thanks @merrielevi and mom for picking colors and cutting pieces!)

This year’s monster herd is shaping up nicely. (Thanks @merrielevi and mom for picking colors and cutting pieces!)

Still life with rubylith and exato blades.

Still life with rubylith and exato blades.

More future greeting and/or holiday cards. I should stop eventually.

More future greeting and/or holiday cards. I should stop eventually.

Fun mail today! #screenprinting #heckyeah

Fun mail today! #screenprinting #heckyeah

Today I made rocks out of felt. #surewhynot

Today I made rocks out of felt. #surewhynot

Moleskine no. 17 (at Red Hat Tower)

Moleskine no. 17 (at Red Hat Tower)

Here, HBR, let me translate for you.

This article from the Harvard Business Review has been making the rounds on twitter lately, as designers and other “creatives” rightly take offense to it’s demeaning tone and off-base “tips” on managing creative employees. I thought I’d take the opportunity to translate their 7 rules into actual advice that won’t send designers (and employees in general) running from your team:

HBR: Spoil them and let them fail.
TRANSLATION: Give employees a safe environment for creative risk-taking.

HBR: Surround them by semi-boring people.
TRANSLATION: Create collaborative, multidisciplinary teams to tackle hard problems.

HBR: Only involve them in meaningful work.
TRANSLATION: Make sure teams understand the company’s strategy and goals and how their projects fit in.

HBR: Don’t pressure them.
TRANSLATION: Create a flexible work environment that lets employees work in ways that they find most creative and productive.

HBR: Pay them poorly.
TRANSLATION: There’s nothing good here. Pay all employees what they’re worth, creative or otherwise.

HBR: Surprise them.
TRANSLATION: see #4.

HBR: Make them feel important.
TRANSLATION: Show them that you and the company value their contributions.

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Sketchnotes from the March AIGA Raleigh Community meeting.  (at New Kind)

Sketchnotes from the March AIGA Raleigh Community meeting. (at New Kind)

Translating the standard creative brief.

Translating the standard creative brief.

I made a couple of new additions to my collection of clip art and source books at Reader’s Corner today—one of medieval tiles, the other of pre-columbian circle motifs.

Here’s a couple of my favorites—a tile with a very clever repeat (that’s one tile making the entire pattern), and some “unidentified flowers”.

I like this little guy a lot. #meetingdoodles

I like this little guy a lot. #meetingdoodles

Holiday cards are ready! The cards I started a couple weeks ago arrived over the weekend and are all set for the holiday craft fairs.

I’ve illustrated all four by hand, colored in photoshop, and had them printed by Moo. I’ll probably put a few sets in the Dull Roar Shop after this week’s fair, if you’re interested!